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Girls’ Volleyball Takes Homecoming

Jordana Lerner, Staff Writer

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For as long as most of Great Neck’s students, faculty, and residents can remember, Homecoming at North High meant bundling up in Blazer-themed hats, scarfs, and other gear to watch our varsity football team battle against South. Homecoming this year, however, did not require hot chocolate and hand warmers, for the girls varsity volleyball team took the lead in representing blazer pride and spirit.

Although administration gave its best effort to keep the football program alive with the Great Neck United experiment, low numbers of players from both North and South meant a change needed to be made. In order to prevent injuries and keep players fresh, a football team must have a minimum of 18 active and eligible players on the roster, but this proved to be challenging even after the combination of players from North and South. While the football team started out with enough players to have a season, a lack of depth became apparent after injuries began to pile up. A lack of conditioning and available bodies ultimately led to the demise of the team when the roster fell down to 16 players and the team could not meet the minimum required number of players for the season to continue. Therefore, the last two games had to be forfeited and the football program had to come to an end for the year. This opened up the opportunity for the girls varsity volleyball team to show what they could do.

Homecoming has been a favorite tradition of the Great Neck North High community. Students of all ages and interests come together to cheer on the team and, more importantly, cheer on Great Neck as a whole. In order to keep the tradition of Homecoming going, administration decided the event would be indoors. Although many sports were considered, such as boys varsity soccer, it was decided that based on scheduling, the girls varsity volleyball would be the best fit to host Homecoming, and so the preparations and controversy began.

When word first got out of the change, there were mixed emotions. Some people felt it was great that the Homecoming tradition would continue and that it did not make a difference which sport hosted the event. Many even felt it was long overdue for a different sport to receive the honor. The fact that the talents of a girls varsity team could be showcased for the entire school was encouraging and exciting for many. Another group of students, however, felt that Homecoming should be canceled or changed to a different season. It seemed as though almost everyone had a strong opinion one way or the other.

Rumors began to spread that attendance would be low and students would not be spirited, yet that could have not be farther from the truth. The S.O. decorated the halls with blue and orange streamers and signs in support of the Blazers. Each grade’s student government had food for sale to raise funds and support the festivities. Kilties and cheerleaders were in attendance and continued to put on a show during halftime. Filled with Blazer pride, students, family, and staff packed the bleachers to support the girls volleyball team battle against Bethpage. Perhaps all this support gave the girls the confidence to win the wire-to-wire game. The gym exploded with excitement once the Blazers won the final match with 25 points. Even Coach Flood said, “It was one of the best Homecoming games I’ve ever been to.” Surprisingly enough, some students that were originally critics of the change eventually agreed that it turned out to be an entertaining game and a great Homecoming overall. This terrific win was followed by another for the varsity volleyball team, leading them to the playoffs.

As wonderful as traditions can be, we need to remain open to change. We must remember to always be supportive of each other, irrespective of one’s initial opinion. Regardless of what the future holds for Great Neck football, we can always be sure that Homecoming will continue to be a fun-filled experience for all.

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Girls’ Volleyball Takes Homecoming